Fresh calls for a lower speed limit in Yaxham, near Dereham
06:41 06 March 2014
Archant © 2014
A speed safety campaign has been reignited after council officials ruled there would not be a blanket 20mph limit outside Norfolk schools.
Members of the community in Yaxham and Clint Green have rallied together to get the speed limit lowered through their village.
Some parents of pupils at the school say they drive the few hundred yards from their house to the school as they are too worried about their children’s safety. Others reported near-misses when their sons or daughters have walked from one side of the road to the other.
Their freshly-launched 20’s Plenty campaign comes after Norfolk County Council’s cabinet agreed that part-time 20mph speed limits will only be introduced outside schools where road safety risks are greatest, rather than outside every school.
The parents have been warned by council officials, however, that the area is not seen as high-risk and that they have already missed out on the recent round of funding.
Racheal Higgins, 40, who first started to campaign for the speed limit to be lowered six years ago, said: “We’ve got increasing traffic and speeding motorists going through the village. There is a blind bend, we can’t have a crossing and the number of pupils at the school has increased by 20pc.”
The 20’s Plenty group has been formed as a result of findings from the Yaxham Community Led Plan. The speed limit between Yaxham and Yaxham Clint Green is 60mph before it then goes down to 30mph.
Mattishall, which is a couple of miles further along the road, has traffic calming measures, a 20mph speed limit and a lollipop man.
Claire Sullivan, 34, who lives in Clint Green and has a son, Tiernan, six, and a daughter, Alannah, four, said: “The cars go past just so quick. I sometimes drive because I can’t bear to walk along the busy road. It’s our village, how dare they come through and almost kill our children.”
Rachel Tidy, 38, who has sons Samuel, five, and Harry, two, and has lived in the village all her life, said: “I feel I’m on edge everytime I walk to and from the school.”
A Norfolk County Council spokesman said traffic counts in the village have shown that traffic is “light” and “almost entirely comprises parents dropping children off at school”. “Fifty-thousand pounds were put in the current year’s budget for part-time 20mph limits outside schools and all schools were invited to make a case. To set priorities, 22 were investigated in detail. and seven were chosen. A further 40 schools have since registered their interest, and Yaxham has not been added to that list,” he said.
He said there was no further funding available, but the long-term aim was to have 20mph limits outside all schools.